Politics has always been a passion for senior Shamir Brice.
“I remember in my seventh grade social studies class, we would start by reading the daily paper for five minutes,” said Brice. “Most kids were interested in the sports section or the cartoons. Well, I was always reading the front page with news and politics.”
Today, Brice is a top student in the department of political science as President of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Mu Upsilon Chapter for the National Political Honor Society and the John Carroll College Republicans.
“I’m just striving – academically, emotionally, as a friend, as a member of a family,” Brice said. “I don’t know if I’m ever going to get there, but as one of my favorite singers Cher would say, ‘I’m getting closer to the truth.’”
Coming from a family of Democrats, Brice’s path to his party affiliation ironically began when he worked on the 2008 presidential campaign for Hillary Clinton.
“I was very driven by her message. Of course, I was really disappointed when she lost,” he said. “I just didn’t think President Obama was up for the job back then. I looked back on the election, and I decided that John McCain would be a good candidate, so I started working for his campaign.”
On average, Brice spends up to three hours a day reading political news.
“When I’m waiting outside of class, I’m on Politico or CNN. When I have a few minutes, I’m reading an article,” said Brice.
The John Carroll College Republicans host watch parties and advocate during national election years, while also volunteering for the party at the local level. Brice can been seen around campus in his Romney hat and windbreaker.
“When I wear my Mitt Romney hat in the cafeteria, there’s one of the guys I’m friends with that says, ‘Oh, here comes this Romney guy,’” added Brice. “I get chided a little for being an African American Republican, which is fine. It is a bit of an anomaly that most African-Americans vote Democratic and I’m a Republican. I really bash stereotypes.”
From the coffee shop to the classroom, Brice frequently engages in political discussions with students from all majors.
“I debate people, because I like the fact that people have political opinions. I don’t think it’s good when I meet students on campus who do not have a political opinion at all—especially during the 2012 Romney-Obama presidential election,” he said. “If you don’t have an opinion, when everything is being saturated about politics in the news, then you’re not going to have an opinion the next year or the year after that.”
Brice aspires to be a U.S. Senator–influencing policy at the local and national level. He would also love to work in D.C., at a think tank or in congressional offices on the Hill.
“I’m not one of those kids who wants to grow up to be president of the United States,” said Brice. “I think there’s just so much work that goes into running for president. I don’t think I quite have the fire, but I would love to be involved in politics.”
Brice’s involvement in politics does not stop at U.S. elections. He heads John Carroll’s Model Arab League, which focuses on international relations of the Middle East.
He has also been a part of “We the People,” tutoring at St. Thomas Aquinas, Holy Name and St. Francis grade schools over the past four years. The program travels to different schools in the Cleveland area to teach middle schoolers about the U.S. Constitution.
“I’m not only going out to Cleveland and teaching these eighth grade students, they are teaching me about a world that I have never really been a part of or have never really seen before, and are opening my horizons to the needs of our community,” remarked Brice.
Brice notes that as a human of John Carroll, he is challenged.
“John Carroll is not just one of those schools that is going to push you out the door in four years,” said Brice. “They are sending you to be a person that will set the world on fire. So, I’m catching fire.”